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July 10, 2019

More convictions if Centre doesn’t send judge back to Punjab: ex-CJP

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July 10, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said accountability court judge Arshad Malik has stained his character by holding a meeting with a controversial personality.

In an interview with Saudi newspaper Urdu News, which is owned by the royal family, he said the federal government should send judge Arshad Malik back to the Punjab judiciary so that a disciplinary action could be taken against him there.

Iftikhar Chaudhry said if the federal government did not send him back, that means it would the judge to stay on his seat and keep convicting people. “If you want fair and clean court proceedings, you should send him (Arshad Malik) back immediately,” he asked the federal authorities.

To a question, former CJ said if the accountability court’s verdict in Al Azizia corruption reference is declared void, Nawaz Sharif’s status would revert to the pre-conviction position. He said Pakistan People’s Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari conviction, handed down by Justice Qayyum, was an example to be quoted in this regard.

Meanwhile, senior lawyer Senator Aitzaz Ahsan wondered why Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) did not move the court in the light of the "important evidence" it had obtained, “which supposedly exonerates jailed former prime minister and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif”.

Speaking in a TV talk show, Aitzaz said on Tuesday that although accountability court judge Arshad Malik had not denied the meeting, he alleged that there had been "cutting and pasting" in the tape's contents and termed it "manufactured". Ahsan said the matter had, therefore, turned controversial and that the burden of proof (of demonstrating the veracity of her allegation) lies with Maryam Nawaz.